The shelf life of succinylcholine chloride injection at several pH values when stored at room temperature was evaluated. Solutions containing 20 mg/ml of succinylcholine chloride were stored at 25 and 40 degrees C. The reaction was studied at pH values ranging from 3.0 to 4.5. At two-week intervals, the solutions were assayed by high-pressure liquid chromatography. The initial amount of succinylcholine chloride in all samples was 100.1 +/- 2.37% of label claim. Hydrolysis of succinylcholine chloride in unbuffered solutions followed apparent zero-order kinetics. The pH range of maximum stability was found to be from 3.75 to 4.50. Succinylcholine chloride decomposed at a considerably higher rate at 40 degrees C. Allowing for the effects of pH adjustment during manufacture and degradation during shipping, losses of 7.0% and 9.0% potency can be expected after storage at 25 degrees C for four and six weeks, respectively. Succinylcholine Chloride Injection, USP, should be stored in the refrigerator; if unbuffered succinylcholine chloride injection complying with USP pH limits must be stored at room temperature, it should not be kept for longer than four weeks.